The thought of launching, growing, and sustaining a business blog strikes fear in the heart of many a marketing manager. Despite all the well documented benefits of content marketing, there still remains the very real fears of starting something you can’t keep up, or running out of ideas, or getting distracted by other projects, or not realizing significant ROI, or…or…or.
But the remedy for fear is often truth. And the truth for you and most marketing managers is that you don’t have to go it alone. The truth is that you’re likely surrounded by many experts at your company who are more than qualified in creating some level of content for your company blog.
Here are three ways to develop and inspire a team of blog writers at your company who can help share the load of blog writing with you.
If you want to start sharing the blog writing load with others, then from this point forward only hire qualified writers at your company. That doesn’t mean you everyone you hire must own a bachelor’s degree in English or be a published author. But make sure he or she can write more than 140 characters at a time and create more than a great snapchat meme.
Give each candidate a writing assignment as part of the hiring process and see how they do. Heck, if you’re really looking to share the load, create an editorial calendar and assign a different post from the calendar to each interviewee. If you’re lucky, you’ll have several months of content written before you even fill the position. (Just be sure to let each candidate know you’ll own all content they create.)
If hiring new team members isn’t in the budget or current strategy—and won’t be for some time—then turn your attention to your current team. Maybe some staff members can write, and you have no idea. Or maybe some members want to write, and they have no idea you’re looking for their expertise.
First, make sure it’s known that all members of your company are encouraged to create and contribute blog content. Then, clarify that writing copy for the marketing department can also be personally beneficial to each employee by:
Finally, make the task of writing enjoyable to your employees by developing ways to inspire everyone. Give a prize to the person whose blog post generates the most website traffic. Or reward a staff member who submits the most blogs for the month with a gift everyone wants, such as a gift card to a favorite local restaurant or a new tech gadget—not the dusty coffee mug from the marketing closet.
And make sure you publicly track and celebrate the work being done. I still recall winning the prize for reading the most books in second grade. Along the walls of the room, our teacher added a train car for every 10 books we read, and my train wrapped around the room twice. Why does that still stand out to me today? It’s because everyone’s efforts were being openly tracked, and—when it was time to announce the winner—it wasn’t done in silence.
Consider doing the same. Create some friendly competition and have fun recognizing the winner.
Take these three steps, and you’ll be well on your way to developing a culture of content creation at your company. But along the way, don’t forget that it still starts and ends with you. Sharing the blog writing workload doesn’t mean you’re shelling out all responsibility to everyone else.
You’re the person everyone will be looking to for guidance and leadership. Be that model of how and why to create quality content and others will follow.